Who is the founding father of microbiology?
Louis Pasteur is one of the founding fathers of microbiology, and his discoveries have led the way for excellent clinical practice worldwide. Pasteur is recognized for a variety of discoveries throughout his lifetime and his dedication to science. In 1848 Pasteur was studying crystals and polarised light when he discovered that organic molecules are asymmetric. This gave scientists new opportunities to determine whether a substance was organic or not. In 1854 Pasteur was asked by a local distiller to try and solve the issue he was having with alcohol fermentation. While observing the issue he discovered that heating the alcohol prevented it from forming lactic acid which was causing the beer to spoil. In 1857 during his investigations, he made another historical discovery. Pasteur discovered that when he heated a substance for a prolonged period, it would kill microorganisms that were present. This process became known worldwide as pasteurization.
Pasteur went on to investigate where the bacteria on food and drinks were coming from in 1864. He discovered that the bacteria came from the surrounding environment and air – disproving the ‘germ theory.’ Pasteur concluded that this bacteria or ‘germs’ were making people ill and the cause of many deaths.
In 1865 investigated the recent silkworm disease outbreak in France. Pasteur concluded that there were two separate infections present in the silkworms caused by parasites. He advised that the silkworms that were infected should be destroyed.